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Small Town Police

Sparta, Georgia - The small town setting for the police drama IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT/NBC/1988-94.

Cast of police drama IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT

The series followed the relationship of Virgil Tibbs (Howard Rollins), a black Philadelphia detective who transferred back to his hometown of Sparta, Mississippi to work with a gruff-but-fair white police chief named Bill Gillespie (Carroll O'Connor).

Other officers on duty in the Sparta Police Department included:

  • Alan Autry as Sgt. V. L. 'Bubba' Skinner
  • David Hart as Officer Parker Williams
  • Hugh O'Connor as Sgt. Lonnie Jamison
  • Geoffrey Thorne as Sgt. Wilson Sweet
  • Crystal R. Fox as Officer Luann Corbin
  • Harvey E. Lee Jr. as Officer Covey
  • Barbara Lee-Belmonte as Deputy Christine Surillo
  • Karen Carlson as Sarah Hallisey
  • C.C. Taylor as Officer Peake
  • Mark Johnson as Officer Everett
  • Geoff McKnight as Deputy Farell

TRIVIA NOTE: The series was based on the characters in the novel written by John Ball and the Oscar®-winning feature film In the Heat of the Night (1967) starring Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger. Sidney Poitier later reprised his role of Virgil Tibbs in the motion pictures They Call Me MISTER Tibbs! (1970), and The Organization (1971).

The TV series was filmed on location in the towns of Hammond, Louisiana and in Covington, Georgia. However, the town of Sparta, Illinois is where the real story behind the story "In Heat of the Night" took place (changed to Sparta, Mississippi for the motion picture).

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